Introduction to Finding Aids
Finding aids are an excellent tool for researchers, students and genealogists. These documents are inventories of the documents you can expect to find within a given collection: like a table of contents. Once you find a document you are interested in, you can reach out to our curatorial staff to ask about its availability. Sometimes there are electronic copies of these documents, but most must be accessed in-person.
I. Museum Archival and Manuscript Collections (Non-official Records): "All types of documentary records that contribute substantially to understanding, interpretation, and management of other park resources (cultural and natural) as well as being important resources in their own right." Managed as part of the museum collection, they are divided into five non-mutually exclusive types:
A. Personal Papers: "Records that have been created or accumulated by an individual or a family. Personal papers that are associated with the history of a park (e.g., with a park's founders, formative staff, or eminent associated individuals) may be acquired for the museum collection."
1. Eliza Adams Collection (1841-1848)
B. Organizational Archives: "Organic collections created by an organization as a routine part of doing business, such as correspondence and fiscal and personnel records. A park may acquire organizational records that are related to or associated with its mission or history before its establishment (e.g., the Edison Archives at Edison National Historic Site)."
1. Boott Mill Flood Damage Records (1936-1940)
C. Assembled Collections: "Artificial collections of documents such as manuscripts that have been accumulated by a collector, usually from a variety of sources. Documents in these collections usually are on a single topic, in a single format, or related to a single individual."
1. University of Massachusetts, Lowell Collected Papers (1843-1964)
D. Resource Management Records: "Include documentation made or acquired by a park to record information on cultural and natural resources. Resource management records are the documentary products of archeological surveys and excavations, natural resource surveys, historic structure and cultural landscape research, scientific projects, and various natural and cultural resource maintenance projects. These records document park resources and serve as information bases for their continuing management."
1. Park Central Files and Administration Division Records (1978-2006)
E. Sub-official Records: "Those files of copies or duplicate documents (e.g., carbon copies of internal policies and procedures, desk files, reports, or subject files of individuals or offices) that are useful for reference, administrative histories, interpretation, research, and other informational purposes … Most park museum archival and manuscript collections (with a few exceptions) are not official records as defined by the National Archives and Records Administration (44 USC 3301), since they are made or acquired for reference or exhibition."
1. Copies or duplicate documents from park Central Files
II. Official Records of the National Park Service: "Records created for purposes other than reference or exhibition are considered official records." After official records are judged non-current, they must be disposed of in accordance with records schedule provided in NPS-19, Records Management Guideline.
A. Inactive Official Records: Transfer to Federal Records Center/National Archives and Records Administration. Refer to NPS-28, Chapter 9 and Appendix B, and the NPS Records Management Handbook in order to determine which Central Files are designated as Official Records for transfer to the National Archives.
B. Active Official Records (includes Museum Records): Managed by NPS. Refer to NPS-19.
Eliza Adams Collection (no pdf at present)
These papers document the life of hydraulic engineer James B. Francis, known for his work in hydrologic engineering and design of the Lowell canal and locks system. The collection contains genealogical data, photographs, publications, documents, Civil War memorabilia, pamphlets, a family bible and two scrapbooks, in addition to correspondence.
University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Collected Papers (pdf)
Last updated: October 14, 2021